August 28, 2008

Shut up and Listen

I'm in Exodus right now. I haven't gotten very far in it, but the beginning is awesome. I'm really hooked on the beginning process that God has with Moses trying to get him to see that He has big plans for him. God knows that Moses is going to become one of the world's greatest liberators. Moses knows that he's scared.

God does everything to encourage Moses from the time Moses encounters Him in the burning bush. He shows Moses the kind of miracles He can do through him, He assures Moses that He has his back no matter what, and He gives Moses Aaron to speak for him. Moses' reply?
[No, No, No. Please, send anyone but me. I don't want to. I can't. I'm scared. I'm not good enough.]
God has great things planned for Moses (GREAT things), but Moses was too busy making excuses to hear that part of it. He knew that what God was asking him to do right at that moment was going to be really hard, and that stopped him from seeing the bigger picture of what he would do for the Israelites later.

I truly believe God has some great things planned for me. I know He has a plan for me, and I know He is able to use me for things that are bigger than I could ever dream. I also know that some of the things He's asking me to do right now are going to be really difficult. There are some things I haven't been facing lately. Some things I need to do and correct, even though I know it's going to really hard. But now I'm thinking that I might be missing out on what God has planned for me in the future because I'm too busy saying no to the steps I need to take right now.
So instead of continuously saying no to God because what He's asking me to do right now seems hard, I want to focus on thinking about the awesome things that God wants to use me for later and pray for the confidence and strength to face the things that are difficult.
Basically, I want to shut up and listen.

August 25, 2008


For the second time, I'm reading this book called Sex.God by Rob Bell.
One topic he hits is community and the issue that we face when we are surrounded by a world of people but still find ourselves alone and fighting those around us. There is something missing.
He talks about a woman in his church whose husband abuses her. The group of people she has surrounded herself with come to her rescue and help her get away from the abuse. Several weeks later, a man comes to him, broken, admitting to abusing his wife, and looking for help so that he could stop. The man was her husband, and when Rob asked the man who he had around him to talk to about his problem, he said he had no one.

We are meant to share our struggles and our pain with the people around us; the people we trust; our entourage. Our problems can spiral out of control when we don't have support like that. When we don't have that person or those people that we can turn to and talk to, we don't have help.

I feel like, personally, I have one main recurring problem I'm dealing with. Quite honestly, I feel like I'm dealing with it alone, too. I don't really feel like there's anyone I can talk to about it that won't judge me or condemn me for it, and that's hard. So I feel like I understand Rob Bell's point about having that kind of community around you. Our problems, issues, hardships and failings are hard to deal with alone. We really need those reliable people that surround us with a love like Jesus and help us through life.

August 23, 2008

Something Worse Might Happen

In John 5, Jesus sees the paralyzed man by the pool who has been hanging around for 38 years waiting to be healed. This was one of my favorite examples used in a sermon by Pastor because of how he pointed out Jesus' question "Do you want to get well?" Anyway, after Jesus heals the paralytic, the Jews around Him weren't happy because He healed on the Sabbath. Later, Jesus found the healed man in temple, and (in the Message version) He said "You look wonderful! You're well! Don't return to a sinning life or something worse might happen."

Jesus has healed us. He has spoken and told us to take up our mat and walk. He has made us new, but He has made us new so that we would not return to our old ways. I believe Jesus has redeemed me and made me new. I also believe He speaks to me all the time, telling me that I shouldn't return to my old ways of sinning. We can't just use Jesus as a lifeline without trying to fix our ways. We can't just keep sinning and expect Him to save us and renew us the same every time. He's not there so that we can go on without trying to live a life serving Him. He has saved us, and that is more than we deserved in the first place. So now it's our responsibility to work hard to serve Him. We can't return to a life of sinning.

August 17, 2008


Oh yeah, I was right. This morning was phenomenal. Amazing. Wonderful. Mind-blowing. The hard work that I saw people put into the matchbooks, the bags with Awakening cards and black rings, and the cardboard testimonies definitely paid off. This week I got to spend a lot of time helping this Sunday come together, and this morning was incredibly moving. Through all 4 services, seeing so many people step out of their own personal boats and into the arms of a loving God was awesome, and I hope I never forget it.

Then, to top off my incredibly emotional day, I experienced an incredibly emotional night at McGlohon! It was my first time visiting, and I can already tell this place is going to be packed with people searching for God and worshiping Him every Sunday. I can't wait to hear the stories of this place. Tonight, the worship was amazing. For the first half of the night, I was pretty dead. Today just wore me out, so I spent a lot of the time praying for less distractions and more energy. God definitely delivered, because before we even got to the first chorus of Healer, I was wrecked. I'm not sure what it meant, but God definitely moved in my heart and overwhelmed me during that song. [Nothing is impossible for You.] The end of the night was perfect, with Let God Arise. I haven't had that much fun worshiping God (and watching our worship leaders praise Him) in a really long time. We definitely have some of the best guys around who are filled with a ridiculous amount of passion for the Lord. .

Today, I felt the weight and the gravity and the importance that I have been missing. Today, I felt God move in my heart, and I witnessed the many ways He has moved in the lives of others.
And now I am exhausted.
In the best way possible.

August 14, 2008

This Sunday

If for some crazy reason you're not planning on being at Elevation this Sunday, you need to reschedule. This Sunday is going to rock your face off. If you were around for the last 2 Sundays to see over 1,000 people step out of the boat and get baptized, then I don't know how you couldn't come back this Sunday. Trust me, you want to be there. A lot more people are going to be stepping out of their own boats and really showing how their faith in God has paid off. God is faithful. He is good, and He delivers us.

I can't wait to see the tremendous faith of people this weekend (including my own roommate's. Love you, B) and I can't wait to see how God is going to reach hundreds of other people through it all. It's going to be a mind-blowing Sunday and I believe God is going to move in a huge way. I'm so thankful to be a part of it.

August 5, 2008


So if you read my blog, you probably read other Elevation blogs, and if you read any Elevation blog, you've probably heard that yesterday we baptized over 600 people. How great is our God!
However, as I went through and read all of the blogs that mentioned this giant move of God we just witnessed and how phenomenal it was, I realized that I wasn't feeling those same emotions. And I'm still not. With Elevation being such a huge movement in this city, we are constantly reminded that we can not take this for granted. What we're seeing isn't normal, and we can't let it pass us by without acknowledging the incredibly vast God who makes it all happen (I mean come on, over 600 people choosing to make their faith public in a single day). This is something of biblical proportions...and somehow I'm not very moved by it.
So tonight I'm praying that as we go into our second week of baptisms, that God would open up my heart so that I could really see and experience the magnitude of what is happening here in Charlotte. It's frustrating that my heart is not overflowing with intense joy at how many lives are being changed right in front of my eyes. Not only that, but as volunteers, we are all able to feel like we are really a part of this. We are active in it. We're making a difference. Sometimes it's the little things that we do that encourage others to take the next step in their faith, whether we know it or not.
I don't want to sit by and watch everything happen. I want to be a part of this. I want to look back and know that God used me to change lives. And I want to be freaking excited about it.

Also, my recent "sun stand still" prayer has been for my brother, Michael. He's 17, and he just moved into his apartment this weekend. He's about to start training for soccer and soon after that he'll start his first year of college. He's incredibly smart, but lately he's been making some unintelligent decisions (read: stupid and dangerous). Basically I'm praying that God would put people in front of him who are good influences and who will help lead him to Jesus in a way he's never known or understood before. I know he can do great things for the kingdom of God, and I want to see it happen. I want him to know that God has made the sun stand still in his life.